Remember the bill that would have allowed California prosecutors to charge pot growers with a misdemeanor instead of a felony? Not gonna happen. Today the California Assembly rejected A.B. 1017, sponsored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-Calif.), by a vote of 36 to 24. California NORML's Dale Gieringer comments:
The state legislature has once again demonstrated its incompetence when it comes to dealing with prison crowding. With California under court order to reduce its prison population, it is irresponsible to maintain present penalties for non-violent drug offenses. It makes no sense to keep marijuana growing a felony, when assault, battery, and petty theft are all misdemeanors. Legislators have once again caved in to to the state's law enforcement establishment, which has a vested professional interest in maximizing drug crime.
Last week, after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered California to reduce its prison population as a remedy for Eighth Amendment violations, Gieringer noted that the state's prisoners include 25,000 drug offenders.